Saturday, September 13, 2008

Government study supports the green shift

With a hat tip to Steve, I'll add my voice to the chorus...

What Stephen Harper doesn't want Canadians to find out, is that they stand to benefit from the green shift plan.

TORONTO – The Green Party is releasing a secret report to the federal government from one of Canada's leading economists, obtained under the Access to Information Act in 2007. The report supports a carbon tax as an effective way to make significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and concludes that a $50/tonne tax on carbon would have an insignificant impact on the Canadian economy and would open tremendous economic opportunities. The model estimates this carbon tax shift would cut emissions by about 36 megatonnes (MT) by 2010, 59 MT by 2015 and 114 MT by 2030 (Table 3).

Green Party leader Elizabeth May May diverted from her intended remarks at a campaign event in Toronto today to point out the hypocrisy of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and thereby kicked off the leaders’ debate.

The study, undertaken for Natural Resources Canada by M.K. Jaccard and Associates (MKJA), calculates the impact of carbon taxes of between $10 and $250 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) beginning in 2006 and applied throughout the economy at a single rate.

The report – Cost Curves for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction in Canada: The Kyoto Period and Beyond – concludes that the GDP impact of a $50/tonne tax shift is less than 0.1% of GDP per year until 2010, is virtually zero during the next five years and is then positive after 2015 (see chart below).Further, the report projects net financial savings to those who take action as a result of the tax shift, after taking into account the investment in emissions reductions. At $50 per tonne, that windfall
comes to $13.8 billion by 2010 and climbs from there (see chart below).

“Mr. Harper’s ridiculous claim that taxing carbon will bring about economic ruin and a recession is starkly contradicted by his own research,” said Ms. May. “In fact, this report shows a positive impact on GDP beginning in 2015. With this in the public omain it is clear that Mr. Harper is deliberately distorting the evidence. Mr. Harper’s fear mongering on a carbon tax is a deliberate and premeditated effort to demonize a sensible plan.

“The government’s own analysis proves that a $50 carbon tax shift will benefit businesses and individuals, and will achieve deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The Prime Minister should now explain to Canadians why, in the face of this compelling evidence, his government stubbornly refuses to consider the carbon tax option and continues to viciously attack those who do. Mr. Harper must bring some honesty into this debate.”

In remaining doggedly opposed to even considering a carbon tax and attacking those who do, Conservatives are ignoring a growing international consensus among leading economists and a government-commissioned study contradicting its warnings of economic meltdown.

The Green Party of Canada would implement a $50 per tonne carbon tax shift – with matching cuts in income and payroll taxes – as the cornerstone of a comprehensive plan for a green energy future that will reinstate Canada as a leader in the global
campaign to prevent catastrophic climate change.

“When we first released our plan to put a price on carbon, Environment Minister John Baird saw fit to deride our plan as ‘the mother of all tax increases’ even though we propose a tax shift with no net increase in revenue,” said Ms. May. “It’s another example of the government’s willingness to deliberately mislead Canadians in support of its ineffective and widely discredited climate change policies.”


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